About Blue Borage...

This blog is about looking after a piece of land in the countryside. It's about keeping animals and bees and growing food. It's also about encouraging wildlife to do well here, and (when it doesn't come to me) about going out and seeing wildlife in the local fields, woodlands, reservoir and coast. Lastly - as I'm fascinated by ancient landscapes and local stories - I include pieces now and then about those, too.

In 1999 we (my husband, David, and I), bought a field to turn into a productive smallholding. Although we haven't always been able to do things because of either time or money, when I look back over the past seventeen years or so I can see that we've actually achieved lots and we've done it on the cheap.  Our biggest project has been building a timber frame barn (where we cut down the timber ourselves from the local woods) and then converting this into a home. We've also saved money by making many of the items we use, from furniture to a cider press (out of scrap wood and metal) and bird feeders (by recycling old car exhausts).

Cutting down the frames for the barn
Our smallholding is to be found in the Essex countryside, about forty miles from London.  We're surrounded by arable farming and young and ancient woodland (of mainly hornbeam and sweet chestnut), which looks beautiful in the spring...

We're also not too far from the coast and areas of reeds and big skies, which are great areas for watching birds...

We work a lot with wood and have carved many objects for practical use (and for fun). We also have beehives and have planted lots for pollinators...

A quick tour of our smallholding will reveal the following; beehives, vegetable beds, a new apple orchard, sheep, chickens, geese, a spoilt border terrier and a large pond attracting local waterfowl. We've also created areas of wild flowers and have planted a small woodland full of native trees.

I hope you enjoy following what we do - and please leave any comments.  I always love to read them.



  1. Beautiful pictures, what kind of duck is that? He is really unique and cool looking!


  2. Hello Michael - It's a Great Crested Grebe

  3. Gabrielle Dempsey5 February 2017 at 04:45

    Loved discovering your blog! ...and reading about your adventure hiking on the old broomway. Looks like a lovely corner of the world you are cultivating there! I am in the American south...


Thank you for taking the time to leave any comments. I do love to read them.